I got my second job when I was 16. After school and on weekends, I worked at a dusty vintage clothing store. I spent most of my time trying to organize the overflowing racks of clothing by type of garment and era. The pay was low and my bosses were a couple, both ex-punk rockers with bleached hair, tattoos that I guessed were done in someone’s basement and coughs induced by decades of cigarette smoking. To this day that was my favorite job where I worked for someone else. I loved hearing my bosses tell long and winding stories about how things used to be ‘back in the days when punk rock ruled’ but even more than that I loved the clothes. I loved looking at a 1950s prom dress with hand appliquéd beads and imagining what kind of girl wore the dress, what her life was like 30 years ago and where she was now.
I’d been scouring thrift and vintage stores since junior high and the things I discovered and took home were my favorite items in my closet. Once I started working at that vintage clothing store, my wardrobe grew quickly and though the eras I tended to lean towards were the 1940s and 1950s, the occasional graphic mod a-line dress would end up coming home with me. One day I brought home a muumuu and my mom gasped. “that’s the stuff we used to wear when I was your age! I can’t believe they are back in fashion,” my mom said. I was still too young and invincible feeling to truly imagine the day when I would see the styles from my teenage years, the 80s, making a comeback. Yet, in the past few years I’ve watched leggings, florescent colors, baby doll dresses, geometric patterns, acid washed denim and even fanny packs come back in style.
It all comes full circle and I’m learning to embrace it. I’ve watched the imagery from 1960s and 1970s make a comeback in the crafting world over the last decade. We’ve all seen the owls, mushrooms, birds and avocado greens take over indie craft shows and at last they are all making their exit. One throwback trend that I’m happy to see reemerge is the use of yarn and thread and the vintage techniques of turning fiber into art as well as wearable objects. I love seeing how modern makers are using yarn and techniques like macrame in home and product design. It’s so inspiring to see these creatives put their spin on it. From macrame wall hangings to string art pieces on wood to fiber jewelry and plant hangers, this is a trend I’m happy to see return, even if it makes me feel a bit like my mom. If you’re as obsessed with vintage trends especially in the crafting world a I am, you need to check out my round-up below as well as get yourself a copy of Cathy Callahan’s Vintage Craft Workshop book.